The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 6, 2012

Mountaineers QB believes he’s getting even better

MORGANTOWN — Geno Smith, West Virginia’s star quarterback, believes he is continuing to get better this spring.

That’s not good news for the 12 teams on the Mountaineers’ 2012 football schedule, as WVU joins the Big 12 Conference.

“Personally, I think I’ve been doing a good job of leading this team,” Smith said. “I’ve had my ups and downs, and will make some mistakes.

“I think I’ve gotten better over time with dealing with many mistakes and not getting too down on myself and just moving on to the next play.”

Smith, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior from Miami, Fla., led the Big East in both passing and total offense.

Smith was selected as the MVP in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl game Jan. 4 and he set several school, conference and bowl records.

He is a three-year starter. He will be backed up by Paul Millard, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound sophomore, and Ford Childress, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound freshman.

“Paul’s comfortable, and he’s out there to compete,” Smith stated. “He’s a guy who was mature from the moment I first met him, and that says even more for a (then) freshman.

“That’s something that makes Paul where he is, and I think so far he’s been competing. He’s been pushing me and the second-team offense. The (No. 2s) have been getting better and so has Paul.”

So much so, Smith firmly believes that Millard is fit to be a starter.

“We don’t discuss anything about him being a backup,” Smith continued. “Paul understands that whatever his role is, he’s going to embrace it.

“But at the same time, now is the time to compete.

“He kicks my butt many times. I’m getting after him and he’s going after me as well.”

As for Childress, Smith said he’s still going through the steps all freshmen are asked to do and he’s been making good progress, but also he makes some bad reads.

“That’s what happens, but as long as he steps forward I think that he’ll do fine,” Smith concluded.

He thinks the week-long spring break was beneficial for all the players. They resumed spring workouts Tuesday.

The annual spring intrasquad Gold-Blue game is to be played Saturday, April 21.

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